According to Nigerian Tribune, Gafar Ajibola, a 31-year-old man, an artisan was at the river bank to wash his clothes when a detachment of policemen swooped on the area, while searching for hoodlums in the area. The man is said to have drowned into the Ogun River, during a police raid on Oniyanrin community in Abeokuta South Local Government Area of the state. The sad incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday.
The deceased was said to have jumped into the river out of fear following sporadic shootings by the policemen. However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident, but exonerated the police of any complicity surrounding the incident, saying the policemen were in the area to perform their constitutional duty. Oyeyemi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said the men of this state command was at the area to burst the hideout of criminals in the area. He added that some people were arrested and released after investigation and wondered why the deceased jumped into the river while no one was after him.
The body being removed from the river
While adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Ilyasu, had ordered proper investigation into the matter. An uncle of the deceased, who spoke on condition of anonymity, demanded justice on the incident, insisting that the late Ajibola was at the river bank to wash clothes while he jumped into the river as a result of sporadic shooting on the part of the police.
He said: “This is an unfortunate situation. My brother was not a criminal. He was at the river bank to wash his clothes. He jumped into the river out of fear following heavy shooting by the police. We launched a search after his body until we found it Saturday night. “We are demanding justice in this case. We are going to take legal step against the police on this matter.”
The PPRO also said: “The Commissioner of Police has directed that a powerful investigation be launched to unravel the culpability or otherwise of its men. The men were just on routine operational duty of providing residents adequate security. “The case is under investigation, the police are in the place to ensure safety of life and property.”